Before the lights go down at the Apollo Theatre, the play has already well and truly begun as members of the ‘Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society’ romp around the audience, creating utter chaos amongst the stalls and box office. ‘Corny Polytechnic Drama Society’ is the fictional AmDram group in this play within a play, putting on their annual Christmas show, which this year is Peter Pan.
A revolving stage, designed by Simon Scullion, creates the perfect playground for the actors to play on, with numerous slapstick moments throughout. The Darling household, the Neverland Forest, the skies of London and Captain Hook’s pirate ship (which in fact turns out to be on a tipping see-saw) come to life on the revolve, which during act two starts spinning uncontrollably as Peter Pan is seen cheating on Wendy with Tinkerbell, a wheelchair bound Lost Boy is found on the tipping ship and all the chaos of the Am-Dram society is unleashed. This hilariously choreographed scene is worth the ticket price alone.
Matt Cavendish as Max (aka, Michael Darling and the Crocodile) turns from wimpish boy to budding hero and gives a truly hilarious performance in his role. Bryony Corrigan’s Sandra gives her Wendy a slutty turn, draping herself over the set and finding every innuendo possible in her dialogue. Adeline Waby’s talents are shown as she plays every other female character in the play, singing a peaceful lullaby as Mrs Darling whilst battling against a stage hand’s chainsaw. The play is absolutely nuts, and the entire company indulge in the silliness of the piece making you wish you were part of the fictional amateur dramatic society.
‘Peter Pan Goes Wrong’ goes beyond the suspected comedy of flying effects mishaps and creates a play within a play that is totally relatable for anyone who’s ever been involved with amateur dramatics. With 3 plays now running consecutively in the West End, Mischief Theatre strikes again with an absurd evening of entertainment that captures the hearts of audiences and have even the most hardened Scrooge’s belly laughing this Christmas.
Review by Marcus Hubbard
Apollo Theatre, 31 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 7EZ – Playing until the 29th January 2017.
Tickets from £15 http://www.theatreperform.entstix.com/tickets/peter-pan-goes-wrong